Interview by Claude ASKOLOVITCH Translation by Darius KADIVAR ( French Weekly JDD: Journal Du Dimanche)
Reza Pahlavi, the Son of the Last Shah of Iran, warns Israel and the Western Powers of any temptation of launching a war against Iran. The Former Crown Prince hopes for a national upheaval by his compatriots against the mullahs. Opposite the Clerical Regime, he calls upon the democratic ideals and values of the West in the name of similar values that he believes have shaped his own ancient land once Known as Persia. As the campaign for Presidential elections in Iran begin, the "King without a Crown" speaks to The Journal Du Dimanche (JDD).
WILL REZA PAHLAVI BE IRAN'S JUAN CARLOS ?
In his Latest Book: "L'Heure Du Choix" aka "An Hour of Choice" published in French, Reza Pahlavi developed his vision for a Democratic Iran, where the Ultimate Choice on the future form of the democratic system of government would be submitted to a national referendum. Either a Secular Republic or a Constitutional Monarchy similar to that of Spain or Belgium. ©Editions Denoël & photocomposition ©DK
JDD: What do you expect from these elections ?
Reza Pahlavi (RP): Nothing. There is nothing to be expected from these elections which are a farce. To even try and debate about the chances of this or that candidate in a bid to differentiate them from Ahmadinejad is a trap that the mullahs wish everyone to fall for. My country is run by a Mafia, and these elections are simply a show aimed at distracting the international community or any other reason that can prolong their survival through false promises. These elections are Not democratic and cannot be taken seriously by any genuine and well informed democrat. My people already live outside the current system. They either are in exile, like me outside their homeland, others, the great majority, are in exile within their own country and have no other choice but to survive under the current totalitarian conditions imposed on them.
JDD: Yes but they are voting nevertheless ?
RP: Many are forced to vote. Its by Fear that the regime hold on to Power. Many are arrested, people are tortured or physically and psychologically intimidated, and even many clerics are threatened (Notes: Ayatollah Boroudjerdi, Ayatollah Montazeri) or persecuted. Anyone who expresses anything against the regime is threatened. The Presidential candidates are filtered (Notes: Of over 400 submitted candidates only 4 were approved by the guardian council to run for the elections, Facebook blocked then reopened under pressure). They are simply puppets of a system which they want to prolong its survival. If you don't understand this then you will totally miss the point. The clerical regime has long lost the Iranian people's heart. Its populist rant or religious slogans, its extremist behaviour or its military adventurism are no more used merely towards our people. On the contrary it is trying to target it towards the Muslim communities worldwide and the so-called "Arab streets'. A Regime that has lost credibility with its own people is now brandishing the sword of Muslim vengeance amongst Syrians or Palestinians instead.
JDD: But in the meantime, don't you think we would see a difference if a more moderate leader would emerge from these elections rather than a radical minded and anti Western candidate who wants the Atom Bomb …
RP: What difference would that make ? You wanted to believe Khatami but did he deliver ? Lets be serious what serious reforms did he undertake after 8 years of Power ? Who followed in Khatami's footsteps ? Ahamdinejad !
This is a logic that the regime has always followed in order to perpetuate itself to this day. Compromise with them and you will not only end up in a war but ultimately help the regime's survival.
JDD: Does that mean we should remain tough with your country ?
RP: You need to be tough with the regime Not the People. You should first and foremost give voice to the Iranian people and the civil rights movements that are struggling on a daily basis, so as to give them hope and courage that they are being heard and have your support.
In short as a nation "We Want to be Freed, Not Killed !"
JDD: In your opinion Obama is not firm enough ?
RP: President Obama was entirely correct to send a Persian New Year Message to the Iranian People but I regret that he included the Leaders of the Islamic Republic. It proves that in his view he cannot distinguish the People and the Regime. That is regretful. For instance he was not forced to hail the regime's "humanism" when Iranian American Journalist Roxana Saberi was finally liberated. I am not saying that you should not dialogue with regime – diplomacy has its priorities- BUT you need to also open the door to a dialogue with the democratic forces that oppose the current regime …. The West should not renounce on its founding principles by giving some kind of legitimacy or respectability to this evil entity called the "Islamic Republic". A Totalitarian regime does not consider itself as such; yet it cannot remain so forever and that is why we should encourage its downfall.
JDD: Do you support a military intervention against Iran ?
RP: NEVER ! Again I repeat our goal is to be freed not killed ! If Iran were attacked it would only strengthen the regime. Needless to say that You would immediately lose both my support as well as that of my people. When Iran was invaded by Iraq, I was in Exile. I publicly offered to fight for Iran as a pilot to defend my country.
JDD: What if Israel Bombed Iran, would you fight against Netanyahu ? (**)
RP: Let me clearly say this to Mr. Netanyahu and the People of Israel: "You know perfectly what Iran represented to the Jewish People. It was the Founder of the Persian Empire, Cyrus the Great, who freed the Jewish people after the conquest of Babylon and allowed your ancestors to reconstruct their tomb. (Notes: He is Awake: Close Up on Cyrus KAR, Story of Esther and Xerxes ).
DON'T BE STUBBORN LADIES: If Indeed Democracy is a Common Cause, then Nothing should stop meetings between "Jomhury Khahs" (aka Republicans be them Reformists or supporters of a Secular Republic) and "Constitutional Monarchists" be them for informal discussions and even debate their differences in an open-minded and
pragmatic approach towards a common goal : A peaceful transition
towards a Democratic system of government in Iran.
The Ball is In BOTH Courts!
During World War II, when the Nazi's took over Europe, Iran accepted to shelter Jewish families who fled German Occupied Poland ( See The Children of Tehran, Abdol Hossein Sardari Iranian Diplomat who became known as the Iranian Schindler). During WWII we were the Only country in the region to behave like this (The tragedy that became known as The Holocaust was not yet known in all its horror until the liberation of the Concentration Camps in 1945).
Video: Tribute to Cyrus the Great at UCLA: fundraising event for completion of Cyrus the Great a documentary by Cyrus KAR with participants Abbas Milani, Nazanin Afshin Jam and prominent members of the Iranian Diaspora
And Now the very people we saved and were friends with throughout our history wish to Bomb Us ? This is outrageous !
JDD: Yes but If Israel or even the West were threatened by Iran …
RP: Look, I understand all these worries. But I am asking you to look at things realistically and from a political perspective. Go to the depth of the question here: This Regime MUST Go ! Stop presenting my people and our religion and culture as evil. Iran is Not this regime. Shi'ism is Not this Regime. Even Islam is Not this Regime ! Iran is enslaved by a Totalitarian State. This totalitarian system is persecuting my people and threatening humanity at large. It must be overthrown. A democratic Iran will be a threat to no one.
J.D.D: How can we get there ?
RP: Though Trust ! By trusting the Iranian people at large.
Bridging the Gap with His People: Reza Pahlavi, spends the Persian New Year with fellow compatriot refugees in London, May 21st, 2005. "Trust the Iranian People Not the Regime", say's Iran's Former Crown Prince.
We will overthrow the regime through a revolution. This change will be the least violent possible and will emerge through civil disobedience. The sacrifice will be ours, all we are asking you is your moral support to achieve this. This regime is less stable than what you think. The economy is bad. The social and political oppression will sooner or later trigger a popular upheaval. At some point even the Revolutionary Guards (The Pasdaran) will have to let go. The regime will then fall just as in most East European Countries after the Cold War.
Reza Pahlavi a "Catalyst" for Change ? Only Time, his own determination and Stamina as well as ultimately the People's Choice can answer this question ! …
©rezapahlavi.org, Reza Pahlavi
(*) Link to Original Article in French (JDD: Journal Du Dimanche)
(**) Although In France it is more accurately Semi presidential-parliamentary system which has underwent and continues to undego revisions and reforms: today they live under the 5th Constitution, that gives more power to the President than the previous constitutional drafts)
Please see the full article here: http://www.payvand.com/news/09/jun/1103.html